Pakistan calls back envoy to India for meeting over harassment allegations

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Pakistan has called back its High Commissioner in New Delhi, Sohail Mahmood, for consultation over "harassment" of its diplomatic staff and their families in the Indian capital, the Foreign Office announced on Thursday. "We expect them to look into and resolve those issues", he added.

"It is becoming hard for the Pakistani diplomats posted in India to keep their families with them due to increase in harassment incidents", the newspaper quoted a source as saying.

"The officers, staff of the Pakistan High Commission, and more regrettably their families and children, continue to face intense harassment, intimidation and outright violence from the Indian state agencies".

India has refused to be drawn into any controversy about the decision by Pakistan to call its High Commissioner to Islamabad for consultations.

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"We would like our mission to function normally without obstruction or harassment in keeping with the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations of 1961", he said. In a statement issued by the Pakistan Foreign Office, it accused the Indian government of failing to provide a secure environment to its diplomats deployed in the country.

On Pakistan's accusations, Kumar said: "We have seen reports of issues raised by Pakistan. We raise these issues in good faith through diplomatic channels and not through the media", said Kumar.

The spat over alleged official disrespect started with Pakistan accusing India of harassing its diplomats.

Footage subsequently released by a Pakistan diplomat shows motorcyclists following his vehicle.

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Diplomatic sources told the Dawn newspaper that children of Pakistani diplomats had been stopped and harassed on their way to school in India.

The Indians, believing the ISI was to blame, then did the same to Pakistan's Deputy High Commissioner in Delhi, Syed Haider Shah, ringing his doorbell at 3am.

While official sources here said all such allegations will be investigated, they added that Indian diplomats were facing a far worse situation in Islamabad.

The official also said Pakistani agencies had raided the Indian High Commission's residential complex in Islamabad and disconnected the power and water supplies.

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As reported by The Indian Express, Pakistan's High Commissioner to India Sohail Mahmood on Wednesday had said "current approach and methods" go against the diplomatic efforts to make progress, and a "rethink" is needed in the current circumstances.

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